How intentional writing can help you


Psst...Guess what? Explore will be open for you next week!

You can learn more here. Then keep an eye on your email!


I think there are three big things you can get out of intentional writing:

  • space (in your mind and in your day)

  • ease (around writing and around pausing to reflect)

  • wisdom (that is, access to your own inner wisdom)

But I know sometimes it’s hard to imagine what those intangible things could do for you.

Intentional writing is a pretty open book. The point is simply to explore whatever's on your mind, and there's no telling what will come out of it. That's a good thing, but can also make intentional writing a little hard to pin down.

Explore brings a bit of focus to the process. In Explore, you’ll be answering a different prompt each day, based on your past, present, and future. But...I can't tell you where those prompts will take you! It'll depend on the intention you create, what's on your mind each day, how the questions make you feel, and so on.

So I can't really tell you what intentional writing will do for you. But what I can do is show you some possibilities!

So here are just a few things I think you could get from intentional writing (whether you choose to do Explore or not), in the three areas I talk and think about most—content, business, and life.


Content:

  • Discover new things you could share with the people you know you can help (stories about your past, dreams for the future, beliefs that you hadn’t quite found a way to express just yet)
  • See connections between some ideas you previously thought were separate things, sparking a post or email that helps your audience understand even more clearly what you offer / know / etc.
  • Realize what your “voice” looks like when you’re not trying or writing for anyone but yourself, and have concrete examples to use as you try to bring more of your real voice into your content
  • Feel less stress around the entire process of writing, and give yourself permission to just get it all out on the page before trying to make it ready for others


Business:

  • Discover (or rediscover) truths about why you started your business in the first place
  • Connect the dots between some ideas that have been floating around in your mind, and use this newfound sense of clarity to do any number of things (create a new offering, stop offering something that doesn’t fit in, work more or less or differently, and so on)
  • Give yourself permission to keep on pausing and digging deeper into your ideas, knowing that a bit of time spent exploring can make a big difference


Life:

  • Shine a light on some things you hadn’t realized you were struggling with (and that you can how begin to work on)
  • Highlight things you’re grateful for
  • Rediscover an old interest that you hadn’t thought about in a while Rediscover an old interest that you hadn’t thought about in a while (reading, painting, hiking, or whatever!)
  • Give yourself permission to spend time on yourself because you see what a difference it makes
  • Gain a habit of pausing each day to reflect on something—whether that’s how your day is going, an idea that came to you on a morning walk, or the way the light is hitting the floor beside your desk


If you’re intrigued, try out Explore Day to Day—my free intentional writing guide. You can download it right now from my free Connection Library*.

Inside, you’ll find a super-simple writing process (no excuses not to get started!), seven prompts to use in situations we all face often (like when you feel distracted, you’re working through a big idea, or you’re trying to come up with content to share), and an easy way to sort through and use what you’ve written.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

And keep an eye on this space (or your email)—Explore will be here next week!

And rumor has it there'll be a discount—but only for a short time!

Until then,
With much love,
Erica

 

*Don't have access to the free Connection Library yet? Sign up below! You'll get instant access along with (fairly) regular emails from me. I'll see you on the other side!

Keeping that New-Year Feeling Alive

Ahhh, here we are. A brand-new year. Just the idea of it brings to mind the thrill of sliding into freshly washed sheets.


But the truth is that those sheets, no matter how diligently you wipe your feet or shower before bed or avoid snacking in them (ahem), will get dirty again.
 

And your year, no matter how well you plan and how excited you get about the fresh start, will eventually feel like the same-old. It’s inevitable.


But the beauty of laundry is that (theoretically) you can get the feeling of fresh sheets any time you want. You have to do a bit of work, yes, but the possibility is there.

And I believe the same is true for your year. By all rights, March 22 and June 3 and September 14 and November 19 are just as good as January 1. They hold all the same promise of possibility, of beginning anew, of making change.
 

So how do you keep that new-year feeling going?


Well, I don’t know. (If you do, can you tell me?) Because all logic aside, there is something that feels special about January 1. We can’t help it.

But what I do know is that I want to keep the feeling going. I want the optimism, the clear-headedness, the excitement, the sense of possibility. I like that feeling. So I’m here to share a few things I’m doing this year to try to hold onto that feeling. Some I’ve done before and some are new to me, but all are helping me feel like I can keep coming back to that fresh-sheets, new-year feeling—because I’ll be constantly evaluating what works, what doesn’t, and where I’m heading, always knowing I can change directions any time I want (which seems to be at least part of the magic of a new year, no?).
 

>> Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead and Find Your Word course

I’ve done Unravelling the Year Ahead (which Susannah generously gives away for free year after year) every time she’s offered it. When fall hits, as others are going crazy for school supplies, I start daydreaming about doing this work. It’s that good.

In Unravelling, Susannah gently guides you to take a look at the year that’s passed and decide what you want more and less of in the year to come, making gentle commitments to yourself to forgive and take care of yourself as you go.

Last year, she added the Find Your Word course (also generously free), and it’s the perfect complement to Unravelling the Year Ahead. I had already been thinking a little about a word for 2016, but after doing the work, I chose a word that totally surprised me—and also immediately felt right.

Susannah does powerful work and I can’t recommend it enough!
 

>> Alaya Morning’s Work // Life // Self worksheets

A couple of months ago, Alaya offered a free online workshop called Work // Life // Self: Balancing It All Without Burning Out. In the workshop, we chose one of five life areas to focus on and went deep into how we wanted to feel, what was working, what wasn’t, and changes we could make (whether that’s adding things or letting go, internally or externally). Over the winter break, I printed out five copies of those worksheets and went deep into each area of my life, working through all of those things and coming up with some pretty intense insights.  If you haven’t been following Alaya, check her out—she’s a beautiful, grounding presence in my life and I always love hearing from her.
 

>> Jess Lively’s Values-based intentions work

I have been following Jess for years, and have so enjoyed watching her grow into the place she’s in now. She is open, honest, enthusiastic, and just a joy to listen to (on her podcast).

I’ve attended two of her live Life with Intention free workshops, and taken copious notes—and now I plan to set aside some time, just as I did with Alaya’s work, and really set some intentions for myself.

I’d love to take her course the next time it opens up—I love the way she thinks about achievements and the three levels of success!
 

>> Jessica Peppler’s gentle guide to ushering in 2016

Jessica is a professional intuitive, and I love getting her weekly emails—she channels guidance specifically for us, and it’s spot on every time. She’s a beautiful presence in my life!

On her blog, she has offered up a beautiful, affirming practice to use any time you want to (in her words) hit the reset button. I won’t give away Jessica’s approach, but definitey go check it out—especially the part about the coconut!

I haven’t done this practice yet—I’m saving it for when I start to feel doubt or fear or stress creep in. I know it’ll be perfect at that time.
 

>> Tara Gentile’s concept of choosing a Chief Initiative

Many of you already know how much I love Tara. She just speaks about business in a way that makes sense to me, all while feeling approachable and relatable.

A while ago, she started talking about the idea of a Chief Initiative, and while I struggled with it at first, I’ve finally figured it out and boy is it powerful. The basic idea is that you only pick one big project or goal or intention (I know everyone uses different language here) to focus on for the next six to twelve months, and then you map out smaller projects / goals / intentions to support that one big thing. This is where the insights I’ve gained in the above work becomes real—where I make some commitments and start working toward them!

You can read a little more about it here and here (I went a bit more in-depth in a free workshop she offered). I can’t recommend Tara and all that she does (check out her CreativeLive classes, too) enough!
 

>> Regular check-ins

I’ve been doing regular check-ins for a while—each Friday, I do a weekly review where I tidy up from the week and plan out the next week, and do some small admin things that help keep me feeling sane.

But this year, I want to get more intentional about reviewing the big picture regularly. It’s way too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and think, Oh, I’ll do that later—but I do best when I revisit the deep work I’ve done and see how things are shaping up. It definitely helps me keep fear and stress and overcommitment and comparison at bay!

 

I hope this list sparks some ideas for you—even if you don’t do any of the things I mentioned, I’m hoping you’ll feel encouraged to find your own ways to keep that new-year feeling going all year round! Your ideas and dreams are totally worth it. 

(But don't feel like you immediately have to rush off and do everything on this list. That would be super overwhelming. I've done a couple of the things already, and I'm waiting to do a few more later. That's part of keeping that new-year feeling going—knowing you have time, and that you don't have to have it all figured out right now.)

If you’d like to share, I would love to hear what you have planned for this year!

With much love,
Erica

Saying No to Comparison Content

Please note: This challenge is now in session! The next round will begin soon. You can join me in October by signing up at the end of this blog post!

I won't be posting on the blog throughout the rest of September, and look forward to connecting with you in this space in October! But make sure you stay tuned. Fun things are coming!


The other day (yesterday? Was it only yesterday? My how time flies), I posted on Instagram that I was feeling trapped in the comparison zone.
 
And boy oh boy could you relate.
 
As I’ve been working on those changes I announced a few weeks ago, I’ve been coming up against this idea again and again:
 
So much of the work we do on our content is a result of comparison.
 
We live in a time where we have access to endless amounts of fantastic content. And because we consume so much of that content every day, it’s easy to start thinking that everyone else has it all figured out.
 
And we get nervous. We think we need to keep up. Our hearts start beating faster and we just know we’re falling behind.
 
So we see a creative doing something that seems to work for them and we think, Okay, I’ll try that.
 
But then we see another idea. And another. And another.
 
And suddenly we’re buried under Okay, I’ll try that—with no room to come up for air, with no room for examining why we’re trying what we’re trying and whether or not it truly works.
 
I don’t know about you, but suddenly I’m feeling a little claustrophobic.
 
The work I do is about peeling back the layers of other people’s ideas to get to the heart of what works for you.
 
And today, I’m announcing something new to help you get started.

Content-Freedom-Challenge_Erica-Midkiff_Content-Coaching

The free four-week #ContentFreedomChallenge starts on September 7, and I would love for you to join me by signing up below.

Each week, you'll receive two emails from me—one with an in-depth challenge and worksheets that will help you focus on what feels right for you, and one with support and encouragement.

In these four weeks, you will:

  • Dig deep and get clear on what you want to share. Clarity is the foundation for meaningful content.
  • Set yourself up for success. Create a plan for consistently getting your core message out there.
  • Share freely and confidently. Learn to write in layers and deal with fear head on (instead of letting it control you).
  • Make space for your voice and your ideas. Take control of what you're consuming! You can't create great content if you're overwhelmed by everyone else's.

I’m really excited to help you step back from the comparison game and look at what’s right for you.

So if you're ready to take control of your content, sign up below! I can't wait to see you on the other side.

When you sign up for the challenge, you'll also get weekly blog posts from me (resuming at some point in October once the first round of the challenge is over)
as well as occasional email-only updates, announcements, and so on!
Check out the terms of service and privacy policy so we're on the same page.